Candid Teacher Admits: A difficult student made my whole day. To her I say: thank you, thank you, thank you!
I have a second grade student who is particularly difficult. Though she isn’t a behavior problem in the typical “bad attitude” sense, she doesn’t adjust well to change, gets frustrated very easily, has low self-esteem, finds it difficult to focus, and for the most part, she lives in her own fantasy world in which she aspires to be a reindeer (I wish I was joking about the last part, but I’m not).
I was worried about her today because I knew her teacher was absent. A change like this, especially on a Monday, can really throw off any student, let alone one who thrives on structure. So, I was pleasantly surprised when she bounded into my room and presented me with a colored picture of a peacock that she had made for me during recess the period earlier. I thanked her with a hug and a generous amount of compliments, and in turn she did great work for me.
At the end of each reading period, she almost always hangs around to talk to me one-on-one because I have asked her to save any conversation that IS NOT related to our activities until the end, and if she does she can talk to me for a few minutes after everyone else leaves. So today, she told me that she made me the picture because, “You’re a very nice teacher and you’re fun.” This is high praise coming from an eight-year-old, especially her. (She was the student who whined, “I hate reading, so you better have some fun activities planned,” on our first meeting, so you can imagine how much this means to me.) I hung her picture up on the wall and she beamed with pride. Knowing her picture is there and how special it is to me will hopefully help boost her confidence and continue helping her produce the best work she possibly can.
So thank you, my “difficult” second grader, for making my day.